Today R2K launches Big Brother Exposed, a report that documents the stories of activists and community leaders who have been monitored and harassed by South Africa’s intelligence agencies, or people claiming to represent them.
This issue was brought to the fore in December 2014 when Numsa national office bearers announced that they would lay a complaint with the Inspector General of Intelligence after intelligence officials tried to approach several Numsa members and United Front activists to get information on their activities.
But political activists in South Africa have been raising concerns about this for years.
This report draws on interviews with 16 people who have encountered some form of harassment from one of South Africa’s intelligence structures or people who are suspected of being intelligence agents. The report also draws on details of some of the leaked ‘Spy Cables’ which have not been covered by the media.
This report tries to understand how and why this is happening, explore the damage that can be done when intelligence structures intrude in democratic spaces, and equip people with the knowledge they need to fight back.
It is an important step in an ongoing campaign to defend the right to organise and identify and act on abuses of power in South Africa’s state security structures.
A summary of news coverage of the report is available here.